The Butterfly Seat has been a concept that has been going around the past few years – with the ability for a pair of seats to act as three things:
- A premium Economy seat, seating two people
- A business class seat, seating one person
- A business class bed
There were previous demonstrations of it at Airbus last year.
This year, it moved to a new vendor Tapis Corporation, as Paperclip Design have been working on improving the design.
With the changes in design, there were issues with the weight and the complexity of the design. As a result, the design has been simplified a lot.
The seat now uses a 3-point seatbelt, with the belt across the chest to be used in takeoff and landing, with a standard two-point lap-belt at the rest of the time.
The seat itself is wider than in previous demonstration, with a 75” bed in total, finished in Tapis Corporations Ultrasuede
The butterfly seat is one that has interested me – namely as it would allow you to deliver a possible five class system in a narrow body aircraft, with the flexibility to change at will with two types of seat installed into the cabin
Five Class? Well. 3 classes and 5 fare subsets.Take the following example:
- 1 to 2 rows of bed seats using the butterfly seat (one person per seatset)
- 1 to 2 rows of premium economy seat using the butterfly seat (two persons per seatset)
- 6-8 rows of extra space economy
- A majority of normal space economy seats
- A few rows of cheap economy seats with compromised legroom
This model in some respects is out there already (think American Airlines A321 used on transcon – which holds four classes using three seat types).
There remains a lot of flexibility in this end of the market, and designs like the Paperclip Butterfly seat a concept that airlines should be thinking about in terms of how they could reduce differing equipment types on a plane, and how to market it
With convertibility options, it offers a fascinating idea of how to re-think a three class product in the air.
Thanks to Jamie Lee of Paperclip Design who walked me through the updated seat at Aircraft Interiors Expo and Tapis Corporation for hosting.
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